Mum left paralysed from the waist down after feeling numb when she got home from Aldi
A mum-of-four has been left paralysed from the waist down after she lost feeling in her legs while putting away the weekly shop.
Debbie-Lyn Connolly Lloyd dropped her children off at school before a shopping trip to Aldi on June 27 like any other Monday morning.
But things took a turn for the worse when her legs started to feel numb and heavy.
The 40-year-old quickly sat down and completely lost the feeling in her legs soon after.
Paramedics rushed her to Southport Hospital where she was diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder – a condition where her brain stopped sending messages to her legs.
Debbie-Lyn said she was “really terrified” and couldn’t stop thinking about what would happen.
The mum-of-four, from Birkdale, Southport, said: “I was just trying to stay calm not to alarm my children but I was absolutely terrified.
“I went through a number of tests from the marvellous staff but the tests kept coming back normal which was reassuring but very confusing as well. No one could tell me why I was paralysed.
“I needed assistance with absolutely everything on the ward and couldn’t move the lower half of my body at all – my legs were like a dead weight.”
An MRI scan determined she had been struck down with Functional Neurological Disorder.
The disorder can be brought on by stress and fatigue and can affect anyone. It’s also the second most common reason for a neurology visit after a migraine.
Debbie-Lyn said her brain had “become so overloaded” she could no longer function properly and the signals between her brain and body were not working properly.
After a week of intensive physiotherapy feeling came back to her legs and she was discharged with crutches.
She had adaptions fitted in her house to help her move. Her legs still give way underneath her and she has “uncontrollable jerky movements” in her head and shoulder.
Her speech is also slurred and tremors run down her body.
She now has an alarm around her neck which she has to activate if she falls and can’t get up. The condition does not have a cure and she has to learn to live with it.
She’s now a patient at The Walton Centre in Liverpool.
But despite this Debbie-Lyn said “the future is still bright for me” and “I will not let this disability define me”. The makeup artist has also worked as a curve model for the past four years and has a goal of walking down the runway at Liverpool Fashion Week in October.
She added: “I absolutely love modelling and makeup and just want to stay as positive as I can. It’s my dream to be able to walk down the runway when the show comes around – I want to walk with confidence.
“I will keep putting one foot in front of the other and show my children what a positive mental attitude can really do.”